Archive for June, 2011

How to Fix GoldenEye 007’s Default Controls

June 30, 2011



Coffee Beans:
     While GoldenEye 007 on the Wii is a very solid FPS game, I think one area that was overlooked by Eurocom was the default control setting.  A default control setting should work well without players having to go into control options to adjust anything unless they want to adjust something, but I found GoldenEye 007’s default Wii Remote and Nunchuk control setting to have an issue that needed to be fixed.
     When I noticed the control issue, it was very apparent, and that this issue somehow slipped by the play-testers is baffling to me, unless perhaps Eurocom didn’t play-test the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls, and other control settings, past the first level in the game(or perhaps I’m the only one to experience this?).

     What was the control issue I had with GoldenEye 007’s default control setting?  Watch the video below to see the issue, and how I resolved it:

     Also, to see GoldenEye’s default controls, and my current customized control settings, take the jump past the break below to view an image of them both!

Filtered Thoughts:
     As I mentioned in the video, the two main control settings I adjusted to help solve the Wii Remote IR error when looking up/down in the game were the “Vertical Sensitivity” bar and the “Dead Zone” box.
     Here is an image that shows GoldenEye 007’s default controls and my customized controls in the game:

Click for full size image

     Some of you might be wondering, “Coffee, why did you choose the ‘Khan’ button layout as your main control setup?”  The main reason I picked it is because it was one of the only ones that had the “Shake Nunchuk to Reload” option as a gesture, instead of it being a button press.

     Ever since I played Red Steel, and then Call of Duty: World at War for several hundred hours, I really like the shaking of the Nunchuk to reload weapons in Wii FPS games.  If you haven’t tried the “Shake Nunchuk to Reload” control option in Wii FPS games, I suggest at least giving it a try and seeing it if grows on you.
     If any of you have any questions about my control setup, feel free to leave a comment on this post, or send me an email to Scott@CoffeeWithGames.com.  Also, if you are still playing GoldenEye 007 online, please add my friend code which is 2043-7355-3797, username Coffee.

Questions:
     Did any of you experience this same issue with the default controls with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in GoldenEye 007, or did you just play through the game with the default controls?  
     If you did make changes, have any of the control setting adjustments worked out really well for you that you would recommend other GoldenEye owners try out?


If any of you are interested in GoldenEye 007 for the Wii, you can see prices on Amazon.com linked below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003O6H7X0&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  
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Sonic the Hedgehog’s Birthday – How Many Hours Played

June 27, 2011

Coffee Beans:
     Sonic the Hedgehog was originally released on the Sega Genesis on June 23, 1991.  The game has seen several re-released versions, and one of those versions was for the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console.
     Sonic the Hedgehog was re-released for the Virtual Console service on November 19, 2006 at a price point of just 800 Wii Points, which is $8.
     The game received an ESRB rating of “Everyone” with no content descriptors listed for parents/gamers to be aware of.

     With Sonic having just had his 20th birthday this last week, how many hours Wii owners have reported playing Sonic the Hedgehog with over 4 years of game-play reported?  Let’s take a look!

Hours shown are for United States of America Wii owners that
report game-play data via the Nintendo Channel.  The hours shown
are not for all Wii owners that have downloaded and played the game.

Approx. Number of Players Having Reported Data:
     Sonic the Hedgehog on the Virtual Console has had about 104,652 Wii owners report play-time data through the Nintendo Channel with 1,675 days of data reported.

Reported Player Increase:
     How many more players has Sonic the Hedgehog seen increased reporting data since the report last October?
    Sonic the Hedgehog has seen an increase of about 8,929 more players having reported data since the data recorded from October 4, 2010.

Average & Total Game-Play Hours:
     Sonic the Hedgehog has 521,136 Total Hours of game-play reported, which is an increase of 74,211 Total Hours since last October.  The game’s average play-time “Per person” is now 4 Hours 58 Minutes, which is an 18 Minute increase over the average recorded on October 4, 2010.
     Sonic the Hedgehog’s average play-time per session is just over 26 minutes.

Sales Information:
     Sonic the Hedgehog is not currently listed in the Virtual Console’s “Popular Titles” section, which lists the current “Top 20” most downloaded Virtual Console titles.
     Sonic the Hedgehog’s American Virtual Console version has made Sega about $837,216, before taxes and profit sharing with Nintendo, based on the approximate number of players that have reported game-play data and the game’s $8 price point.  It has made about $71,432 more, just since October 4 last year.

Menu image captured from the game.

Review Score Average:
     Sonic the Hedgehog’s “professional” review score average is 90.17%, based on 6 reviews on GameRankings.com.

Filtered Thoughts:
     If any of you didn’t know this last week was Sonic’s 20th birthday, it’s okay, because he didn’t know it either(being he isn’t real!).
     I do think it’s interesting that while Sonic started as a Sega console exclusive, and a competitor to Nintendo’s Mario, he now has found a home on all current generation consoles, and most mobile platforms in recent years.
     I personally would pick Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast as my favorite Sonic game, as it was the first game I purchased with my Sega Dreamcast system, and I spent many hours playing it.

     If any of you have not seen footage for Sonic the Hedgehog, the trailer below is of brief game-play footage from the Virtual Console version of Sonic the Hedgehog:

Questions:
     Did any of you find yourselves playing a Sonic game, perhaps Sonic the Hedgehog, this last week to celebrate Sonic’s 20th birthday?  If you consider yourself a Sonic fan, what do you think is his best game released in the last 20 years?

If you want to purchase a Wii Points card, PSN card, or XBox Live card, to purchase one of Sonic’s many digitial re-releases, you can see links for them on Amazon.com below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B001TOQ8KC&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004RMK4BC&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000B9RI14&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr 

>FPS Friday – Greg Hastings Paintball 2 PS3 Footage

June 25, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     Many of you may have seen some of my coverage for Greg Hastings Paintball 2 (GHP2) on the Wii over the last several months.  Well last week on June 14, Greg Hastings Paintball 2 released on the PlayStation Network and is available for $19.99.
     The game was developed by Super X Studios, and published by Majesco Entertainment.  GHP2 received an “Everyone 10+” rating from the ESRB, with “Language, Violence” listed as content for gamers/parents to be aware of.

     For those of you that haven’t seen any footage of Greg Hastings Paintball 2, the video below contains one round of a “RaceTo” match that a friend and I played together cooperatively through the PlayStation Network.  While we played some matches against each other, the video below is of us being on the same team battling against a team of AI opponents.

Filtered Thoughts:
     The match in the video was setup through the “Private Match” option in the online multiplayer for Greg Hastings Paintball 2, and we had full control over things like the number of bots, match types, rules, and even the locations/fields we played on.
     As I mentioned in the video, the footage after the online multiplayer match was a “Bonus Video” that was unlocked while I was playing through the game’s Career Mode.  The game contains a good number of “Bonus Videos” that show off different real-life paintball matches, professional players, and even clips about individual paintball guns.

     The friend that I played the match with in the video owns/runs his own paintball field located in Louisiana.  If you are ever down in the area and interested in playing, he would love for you to check out his field.  You can join/see his Facebook group HERE.
     Keith, who writes for his own site RespawnAction.com(as well as EpicBattleAxe.com), and I both received “review” codes for Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the PS3, and though I don’t really “review” games often, as I provide more detailed/in-depth coverage for some of them, you can read Keith’s review for Greg Hastings Paintball 2 HERE.

     If any of you have any questions about Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the PS3, or even the Wii version, feel free to leave a comment on this post, or email me at Scott@CoffeeWithGames.com.
     Also, if any of you own Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the PS3, feel free to add my PSN name to your friend list, which my PSN name is Hoj_Latte.

Questions:
     Have any of you been playing Greg Hastings Paintball 2 on the PlayStation 3 since it released last week?  If so, what do you think about the game, good or bad?

If any of you are interested in Greg Hastings Paintball 2, you can see links to a PSN Card, and the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of the game below on Amazon.com:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004RMK4BC&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WWI&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0038N9WPU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

>The Best Video Game Pirate, Jack Sparrow – A LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Report

June 23, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean was released on May 10, 2011 for the Wii, as well as every other current console/handheld video game device.
     LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean was developed by Traveller’s Tales, and published by Disney Interactive Studios.  The Wii version, along with the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, has a MSRP of $49.99, and the game received an ESRB rating of “Everyone 10+” with “Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief” listed as content for gamers/parents to be aware of.

     How many hours have Wii owners reported pirating with Captain Jack Sparrow in the Caribbean, since the game released?  Let’s take a look!

Hours shown are for United States of America Wii owners that
report game-play data via the Nintendo Channel.  The hours
shown are not for all Wii owners that have played the game.

Approx. Number of Players Having Reported Data:
     Lego Pirates of the Caribbean has had about 4,241 Wii owners report play-time data, with 42 days of game-play reported since it released.

Average & Total Game-Play Hours:
     Lego Pirates of the Caribbean has 65,183 Total Hours of game-play reported, with an average play-time of 15 Hours 23 Minutes “Per person”(or console) that has reported data for the game.
     The game has an average play-time per session right about 2 Hour 53 Minutes.

Sales Information:
     According to the NPD data for May 2011, the Wii version of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean sold the best out of all the versions.

     Lego Pirates of the Caribbean’s Amazon.com sale rank is #61, and it is currently selling for $45.99.
     Sale rank and advertised price were recorded on June 23, 2011 around 2:00AM.

Review Score Averages:
     LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean’s “professional” review score average is 72.93%, based on 14 reviews on GameRankings.com.

     The game has a 4 out of 5 Stars rating on Amazon.com, based on 24 customer reviews.
     Lego Pirates of the Caribbean’s customer review score average is 82.50% when the customer reviews are converted to a 100% review scale.
     Review score averages recorded on June 23, 2011 around 2:15AM.

Our son!  He would be a fine scallywag
in the crew of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Filtered Thoughts:
     While I have not played any version of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, I do think the game looks like good, typical, LEGO video game fun.  If you are not familiar with any of the LEGO video games and the humor they use, the video below is a compilation of three trailers for LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and it should give you a good idea of the humor you can expect from this game.

     As for the reported game-play data, seeing the game debut in just over a month is pretty good for game I believe.  While it’s not as fast of a game-play hours debut as some other games, it is a solid and quick start compared to most third party games on the Wii.
     With the average play session being almost 3 hours, I think that shows gamers are sitting down and really enjoying this game each time they are playing it.

     One thing I’m really surprised by is that it took nearly 6 years for Disney and Traveller’s Tales to get a “LEGO” Pirates game released, considering the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie released back in 2003, and the first LEGO Star Wars game was released in 2005.  While Traveller’s Tales was probably busy with developing the many other “LEGO” games between 2005 and the release of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean last month, I just figured a “LEGO” Pirates game would have happened sooner knowing the success the LEGO Star Wars games, and the box office success of each Pirates movie.
     Anyway, I’m glad to know that Captain Jack Sparrow’s latest video game pirate adventure seems to be a success, because in my opinion, he’s the best type of pirate there is and he’s a video game pirate I don’t mind talking about.

Questions:
     Have any of you played any version of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, and if so, what do you think about the game?  Do you think the game follows the “LEGO” video game formula well enough, and follows the Pirates movies, as fans of the movies may expect?
     Would you recommend LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean to other gamers at it’s current MSRP of $49.99, or would you suggest waiting on a price drop for it?

If any of you are interested in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, you can see prices on Amazon.com linked below for a few of the different versions, as well a LEGO Captain Jack Sparrow!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002I0GEBO&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002I0EG32&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003O6E7O2&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr    http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002I0EL1Y&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr 

>The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s Reported Game-Play Hours

June 21, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (TLoZ:OoT) was originally released on the Nintendo 64 system in North America on November 23, 1998.
     TLoZ:OoT was developed by Nintendo’s EAD, and of course directly published by Nintendo.  The game had a MSRP of $49.99 when it released on the Nintendo 64, but has since been “re-released” multiple times.
     The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was re-released on the Nintendo GameCube as a bonus disc with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and then on February 26, 2007, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Wii’s Virtual Console service for just $10.

     How many hours have Wii owners reported playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Virtual Console, since the game released?  Let’s take a look!

Hours shown are for United States of America Wii owners that
report game-play data via the Nintendo Channel.  The hours
shown are not for all Wii owners that have played the game.

Approx. Number of Players Having Reported Data:
     The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has had about 227,654 Wii owners report their play-time data through the Wii’s Nintendo Channel, with days reported.

Average & Total Game-Play Hours:
     The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has 6,231,484 Total Hours of game-play reported, with the average play-time being 27 Hours 23 Minutes “Per person” reporting data.
     The game’s average play-time per session is 1 Hour 52 Minutes.

Sale Information:
     TLoZ:OoT is currently listed in the #3 spot in the Virtual Console’s “Popular Titles” section, as of checking around 2:00AM on June 21, 2011.  The “Popular Titles” section lists the top 20 most popular Virtual Console titles.  Not only is TLoZ:OoT in at the #3 spot, but two other Zelda titles are in the “Top 10” section along with it: The Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
     The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s American Virtual Console version has made Nintendo about $2,276,540(before taxes), based on the approximate number of players that have reported game-play data and the game’s $10 price point.

Review Score Averages:
     TLoZ:OoT’s “professional” review score average is 97.48%, based on 25 reviews on GameRankings.com.

     “Professional” review scores recorded around 2:15AM on June 21, 2011.

Filtered Thoughts:
     While I do own The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, I have not played it in a long time.  If you played the game on the Nintendo 64, but have forgotten what it was like, the following video is the brief introduction clip that plays when the game is turned on.  WARNING:  Flashbacks to the 90s may occur!

     If you are a Nintendo 3DS owner and have been looking for a “new” game to purchase, Nintendo just yesterday(Sunday) released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D for the system, which is described as, “a fully re-mastered version” of the original game.
     As for the reported game-play hours of the Virtual Console version, I think the average hours “Per person” show TLoZ:OoT is being completed at least once all the way through by most Wii owners reporting their game-play data, but not much more than that.

Questions:
     Have any of you played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64, and the Virtual Console?  If so, do you think the Virtual Console version is a direct port of the N64 version, or does the Virtual Console version have some things left out from the original N64 version?
     Also, if you’re a Nintendo 3DS owner did you purchase the game on Sunday, or do you plan on purchasing it in the near future?

If you’re interested in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you can see different versions on Amazon.com linked below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0009Y808Q&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0009XSMNA&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003O6E800&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

>The Most Sold Game Ever – Wii Play’s Hours Reported Played

June 20, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     Wii Play was released on February 12, 2007 with a MSRP of $49.99.  The “game” was a compilation of nine mini-games, that used player created Miis from the Mii Channel; but not only did gamers get the nine mini-games for $49.99, they also received a Wii Remote with the package.
     Wii Play received an ESRB rating of “Everyone” with “Mild Cartoon Violence” listed as content for gamers/parents to be aware of.

     How many hours have Wii owners reported playing the most sold video game of all time, with 1,583 days reported?  Let’s take a look!

Hours shown are for United States of America Wii owners that
report game-play data via the Nintendo Channel.  The hours
shown are not for all Wii owners that have played Wii Play.

Approx. Number of Players Having Reported Data:
     Wii Play has had about 2,500,643 Wii owners report their play-time data through the Wii’s Nintendo Channel, with 1,583 days of game-play reported since it released.

Average & Total Game-Play Hours:
     Wii Play has 33,214,854 Total Hours of game-play reported, with an average play-time of 13 Hours 16 Minutes “Per person”(or console) that has reported data for the game.
     The game’s average play-time per session is right about 57 minutes.

Sales Information:
     As of March 2010, Wii Play had sold more than 27,000,000 copies world-wide, making it the most-sold video game ever.

     Wii Play’s Amazon.com sale rank is #667, and it is currently selling for $28.99.
     Sale rank and advertised price were recorded on June 20, 2011 around 1:45AM.

Review Score Averages:
     Wii Play’s “professional” review score average is 61.72%, based on 41 reviews on GameRankings.com.

     The game currently has a 3.5 out of 5 Stars rating on Amazon.com, based on 833 customer reviews.
     Wii Play’s customer review score average is 72.79% when the reviews are converted to a 100% review scale.

Filtered Thoughts:
     While I don’t own Wii Play, I played a friend’s copy of it briefly.  If I had not already owned four Wii Remotes when this bundle released, I probably would have purchased it.
     Knowing that Wii Play is currently the “most sold” video game ever is interesting, but perhaps not unexpected considering the Wii’s success.  Wii Play was released world-wide for the Wii within just 3 months of the console’s release in November 2006, and was bundled with a Wii Remote for only $10 more than a Wii Remote’s normal asking price then.
     As for the game’s reported game-play hours, I think they are very good for this type of game.  Considering it’s a compilation disc of mini-games, seeing Wii Play with an average play-time of more than 10 hours I think is really good.

     If you missed my recent post, “Michael Pachter on Wii Play Motion, A Year Ago“, I showed how Mr. Pachter and I had exchanged some emails, and I thought early last year that Nintendo was phasing out Wii Play, to introduce its sequel which I called, “Wii Play Plus“, at the time.
     Well, if you are not aware, a sequel to Wii Play was released last week called Wii Play Motion.
     Wii Play Motion was released on June 13, 2011, which was 2 years after the Wii MotionPlus unit was released…and that’s a business decision that still doesn’t make any sense to me at all, but perhaps I’ll discuss it more later.

Questions:
     If you own Wii Play, and you have had it for a few years now, do you find yourself still playing it occasionally?
     Also, do any of you find it odd, like I do, that Nintendo took more than 2 years to release Wii Play Motion after the Wii MotionPlus unit had been released?


If any of you are interested in either Wii Play, or its sequel Wii Play Motion, you can see sales prices for both on Amazon.com linked below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000KRXAGE&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004W4S1S8&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

>Michael Pachter On Wii Play Motion, A Year Ago

June 17, 2011

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Coffee Beans:

     If you just started following my blog in the last year, you may not have seen two posts last year that I did on Michael Pachter.  One post was titled, “Analyzing the Analyst: Michael Pachter is Wrong“, and the second post was titled, “Michael Pachter Responds!  Thoughts on the Wii Vitality Sensor“, which showed part of a response Mr. Pachter sent me in regards to the first post.
     Today I’m showing some more excerpts from the email exchanges, that will look at part of our conversation regarding Nintendo’s supply issues they were having last year with the Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board bundle, and also the supply issues with Wii Play.
     One reason for releasing these exchanges now, is that Wii Play Motion was just released this week, and I actually mentioned(predicted) it last year(with just a slightly different name, but VERY close to what it ended up as).

     So, the text below is from a portion of Mr. Pachter’s first email he sent to me, followed by part of my response to him, and his reply again.  To understand his initial response below, you may want to start at the POST that started the exchange, HERE.

     Did Michael Pachter think Nintendo would release Wii Play Motion over a year ago, and what were his reasons?  Let’s take a look!

Emails:
     Michael Pachter’s initial response on March 15, 2010:
     “I suppose it’s fair to say that I ‘ignored’ the ‘fact’ that Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board and Wii Play were in limited stock.  It’s hard for me to reconcile how Nintendo could be so unprepared for demand.  I knew that there was a tight supply(although both were in stock wherever I visited, quantities were low), but can’t understand how Nintendo could mess up the supply chain so badly on both.

     By ‘so badly’, I mean that all the balance board items (both Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus) sold through 777,000 unites in January[2009] last year, and only 373,000 units this year.  The balance board sold 644,000 in February[2009] last year and only 40,000 this year.  In other words, Nintendo should have known that there would be 300,000 or more of demand, and had to supply only that many, somehow made it in January, then inexplicably ran out of supply in February.  I do not question your conclusion that this was likely due to a supply issue, but for me to call them out on the supply situationi would be to say that they are poor managers of the supply chain.  Without a statement from them acknowledging such, I chose to say that sales “are beginning to fade”, and concluded that demand may have played a part.  I’m OK with your reaching a different conclusion, but am reluctant to call Nintendo management out on their odd choice to let supply dry up.

     The same is true of Wii Play, with no rational explanation.  Sales in January and February last year(2009) were 415,000 and 386,000 units, or around 50% of Wii sales.  This has been relatively constant since launch.  For Nintendo to suddenly “run out” of extra controllers is mind boggling.  Yes, I know that they are out of stock in many places, but I genuinely don’t get it, and to see the attach rate drop to 25% in December, 30% in January and 15% in February really makes me wonder if this is also demand driven.  Who actually knows? Nintendo does.

     As an aside, prior to writing the note, I had a half hour meeting with Reggie, and although he said the balance board was in tight supply, he was as surprised as I was by the Wii Play number, and said he would look into it.”

     My response to Mr. Pachter on March 16, 2010, and me addressing the Wii Play stock issue:
     “My ‘analysis’ on Wii Play, is I think Nintendo is phasing Wii Play out now, and that is part of the reason the game is ‘sold-out’ at different locations.
     If you do a quick search on WalMart.com, ToysRUs.com, and Amazon.com for the term ‘Wii Remote’ you will only see the Wii Remote bundled with WM+ being sold.  BestBuy.com and Target.com are currently the only two sites I checked offering Wii Remotes sold alone.  A quick local search of those stores showed most are either ‘out-of-stock’ or have ‘limited’ quantities of just the regular Wii Remote with no WM+ attachment.

     We know that Nintendo has the Wii system at Wal-Mart now, bundled with Wii Sports Resort and the Wii MotionPlus accessory.

     I think it makes a lot of sense for Nintendo to release a new Wii Play game, but make it, ‘Wii Play Plus‘, or something along those lines, that will include the WM+ accessory and new mini/micro games that use WM+.

     Mr. Pachter responded on March 16, 2010 saying:
     “I don’t think your guess about phasing out Wii Play is right.  They would rather sell an extra controller for $60 than for $20, so Wii Play is a great deal for them.  The Wii-mote with WM+ is $55, so maybe it’s a comparable deal, but we didn’t see a huge spike in sales there (I don’t subscribe to the accessory data, but asked Reggie about it).  Reggie had no clue that Wii Play sales fell off a cliff (I saw him at 3 p.m. Pacific, 90 minutes after the NPD data came out, and he had not seen the software numbers).  He knew all about the Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board supply issue, but had no explanation as to why it was in tight supply.  I told him I was going to write about it, and that I would be kind (meaning I would not point a finger at NOA management screwing up the channel).  If you’re right, you would think he would have been better prepared.”

Filtered Thoughts:
     This was just a portion of the email exchanges that Mr. Pachter and I had.  When I read Nintendo announced Wii Play Motion, I literally LOLed, and wondered if Mr. Pachter had forwarded my email response over to Nintendo.  While I called the game, “Wii Play Plus”, Wii Play Motion is basically the exact game-type I thought would have released last year, in 2010, to replace the original Wii Play.
     I am glad to see Nintendo release Wii Play Motion, but I really do think it’s late to the Wii MotionPlus party.  Nintendo has released at least two other games(Wii Party and Mario Sports Mix) since the Wii MotionPlus unit was released, and I thought it was absolutely ridiculous for neither of them to support WM+ controls in some way.
     As for Mr. Pachter’s responses, he took time to explain his views(though the Wii Play and controller pricing he mentioned confused me a bit in the second response), and he even provided data from the previous year(2009) to show the declining sales.  While Mr. Pachter did not think a Wii Play sequel made sense in 2010, I will send him a link to this post, and see if perhaps he thinks it makes more sense now.
     Mr. Pachter ended the second email response with, “Other than that, we pretty much agree about everything.  I suppose that the point is that either Nintendo screwed up supply, or demand is dropping off.  It could, of course, be a combination of the two.  It will be interesting to see what happens when supply for the balance board improves.”

Questions:
     Do any of you think, like I do, that Wii Play Motion releasing this year is a little late?
     If any of you have been playing Wii Play Motion, what do you think about it?  Is it a bundle you would recommend to other Wii owners looking for some Wii MotionPlus games, or should they perhaps look for the software only, at a lower price?

If any of you are interested in Wii Play Motion, you can see it on Amazon.com linked below:

>PS3 versus Xbox 360: L.A. Noire’s May Sales Ranks Breakdown

June 14, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     L.A. Noire was released on May 17, 2011 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.  The game released with a “Standard” edition with a MSRP of $59.99.
     L.A. Noire was developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games.  The game received a “Mature” rating from the ESRB with, “Blood and Gore, Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs, Violence” listed as content for gamers/parents to be aware of.

     The May 2011 NPD data was just released for video game hardware/software sales, and L.A. Noire was in the #1 software spot for the month, but the NPD data did not show the sales breakdown between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

     The chart below is not designed to be a replacement of NPD data, but to be a supplement with the NPD data for developers and investors alike, that may be interested in sales data.

     Were more crimes apparently solved on the PS3 or the Xbox 360 in the first 14 days after L.A. Noire released, based on the game’s sales ranks in May?  Let’s take a look!

Chart Info:
     The chart below shows the sales ranks for L.A. Noire on the PS3 and Xbox 360, with sales ranks recorded from May 17 through May 31, 2011.  The sales ranks were recorded from the overall “Video Game” sales ranks each day, and the higher the lines on the chart the better the sales rank for each date/time recorded.  All times shown were recorded as Pacific Standard Times.
     Along with the sales ranks, I also recorded the sale price of each version as Amazon.com had them listed at the time.

Click chart to view full size.

Highs & Lows:
     The highest recorded sale rank for L.A. Noire on the PS3 was #1, for 6 days in May.  The game was selling for $59.99 all of those days, and included either a $15 or $20 Amazon.com Video Game Credit for 5 out of those 6 days.
     The lowest recorded sale rank for L.A. Noire on the PS3 was #5 on May 31 around 4:10PM, and it was selling for $59.00 at the time.

     The highest recorded sale rank for L.A. Noire on the Xbox 360 was #1 on May 25 around 8:35PM.  The game was selling for $59.00 at the time.
     The lowest recorded sale rank for L.A. Noire on the Xbox 360 was #5 on May 30 around 8:10PM, and the game was selling for $53.99 at the time.

Overall Sales Rank Average:
     L.A. Noire on the PS3 had an overall sale rank average of #2 for the 14 days it was available in May.
     L.A. Noire on the Xbox 360 had an overall sale rank average of #3 for the 14 days it was available.

     The overall sales rank average was rounded to the nearest whole number.

Critical Reception:
     “Professional” reviews for L.A. Noire started being published on May 17, the day the game released.

     L.A. Noire’s current “professional” review score average on the PS3 is 89.59%, based on 50 reviews on GameRankings.com.
     The PS3’s version has a 4 out of 5 Stars rating on Amazon.com, based on 134 customer reviews.

     L.A. Noire’s customer review score average on the PS3 is 78.50%, when the reviews are converted to a 100% review scale.

     L.A. Noire’s current “professional” review score average on the Xbox 360 is 87.85%, based on 56 reviews on GameRanking.scom.
     The Xbox 360’s version has a 4 out of 5 Stars rating on Amazon.com, based on 143 customer reviews.
     L.A. Noire’s customer review score average on the Xbox 360 is 80%, when the customer reviews are converted to a 100% review scale.

     Review score averages were recorded around 11:30PM on June 13, 2011.

Filtered Thoughts:
     The overall sales average for both versions was very close.  The PS3 version was just over an average of #2, while the Xbox 360 version was closer to having a sales rank average of #3, overall from May 17 to May 31.
     Based on the overall sales ranks averages for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of L.A. Noire, we can assume that the PS3 version sold more copies than the Xbox 360 version on Amazon.com; but being that Amazon.com does not provide exact sales numbers, it would probably be a close call.
     Hopefully the NPD data will start providing better sales breakdowns for console games like L.A. Noire, so developers and investors can see how these games are performing on a console basis, and not just on an overall monthly basis.

     While I haven’t played L.A. Noire, I have seen the technology used for recording the actors/actresses in the game, and I was really impressed by it.
     Hearing, and seeing, so many good things about the facial recording/scanning technology used in L.A. Noire, makes me hope Rockstar will lease/sell the technology to other companies that might be interested in using it.

Questions:
     If you purchased L.A. Noire, what do you think about the game?  Is it worth the time to investigate and solve the crimes in the game?
     Also, do you hope L.A. Noire is a game that Rockstar will continue to support in the future, possibly with sequels?

If you are interested in L.A. Noire, you can see prices for both console versions on Amazon.com linked below:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002I0J5UQ&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002I0HBZW&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

>Pre-Order/Reserve PlayStation Vita Online Now

June 7, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     If you were watching Sony’s E3 press conference tonight, you may have been really surprised(as I was), about the price points for the PlayStation Vita(Click to pre-order now!).
     Sony announced the Vita will have two price points: one with WiFi only for $249.99, and one with WiFi an 3G service provided by AT&T for $299.99.

     If you’re ready to jump on the Vita bandwagon, you can click the images below to pre-order, or reserve, either(or both) versions of the handheld system on Amazon.com:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004L5MYJA&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr  http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=coffeew-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B003O6EATE

     The $299.99 3G and WiFi system is on the left, the $249.99 WiFi only Vita system is on the right.
Filtered Thoughts:
     I think the price points are very good for what Sony showed the Vita seems capable of tonight at E3.  If I were to get one, I would probably go with just the WiFi system being that I don’t travel a lot, and I would use it mainly around the house.
Questions:
     Were any of you surprised by the price points for the PlayStation Vita, and did the revealed prices make your more/less interested in the system, than you perhaps were before the prices were revealed?

>Caffeinated Thoughts about Project Café Rumors

June 6, 2011

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Coffee Beans:
     The rumor mill exploded in April with “news” about Nintendo’s next console, codenamed Project Caféafter Game Informer first broke the news.
     While initial rumors varied, a few things seemed to remain consistent throughout:
     1)  Nintendo’s next console will be more powerful than the Wii, and support 1080p HD games
     2)  There is a new controller for the system that will include a touch screen of some sort, and be more of a standard gaming controller with dual-analog sticks
     3)  Release date for Nintendo’s next system will be in 2012, with a MSRP between $300-350
     4)  Nintendo will try to win back the “hardcore” gamers with this console, and is going for more third party support
     5)  The codename for the console “project”, is Project Café

     I haven’t really posted many thoughts about all the Project Café rumors, though I have chatted with some of you about them.  Some of you may have been wondering, “Why has Coffee not posted any thoughts on Nintendo’s next console, codenamed Project Café?!
     Well, I do my best to let rumor waves settle, before jumping into the waters they come from; kind of like letting a cup of coffee cool just a bit, so as not to burn your mouth.  Sure, while the Project Café rumors were freshly brewed up in April, it was also the craziest time to talk about them, because of how quickly more rumors were popping up all over the place(even now).

     What do I think about some of the WiiHD/Project Café rumors, even the latest “confirmed” rumor of the controller having a 6″ screen?  As I am sitting here drinking a few cups of Maxwell House coffee, here are my thoughts!

Caffeinated/Filtered Thoughts:
     The Project’s Codename – I think the codename “Project Café” is awesome of course.  Being that Brewster’s coffee shop is in Animal Crossing: City Folk, I can see the codename for Nintendo’s next console having a coffee meaning of some sort.
     I wish I could say Nintendo contacted me about buying my site because of the project’s “codename”, but that hasn’t happened…yet.  Nintendo my email address is: Scott@CoffeeWithGames.com!

     Touch Screen Controller –  I believe it was THIS site, 01net.com, that first broke the “rumor” about Nintendo’s next console having a touch screen controller.  The initial rumor report said the controller has a 6 inch screen, a sensor bar implemented into it somehow, and a front-facing camera.  At this point, the controller screen is basically confirmed, as the Japanese site Nikkei.com was reported to have also confirmed a 6 inch screen on the console’s controller just in the last day.
     As for the camera on the controller, it makes 100% sense to me as I think Nintendo will expand the “Miis” idea on their next console, and like the 3DS’ camera, the controller’s camera will allow users to take their own picture and the system’s Mii software will help “create” a Mii for them based off the picture.
     I think having a touch screen on the controller may help some people with menu navigation.  Perhaps instead of moving an on-screen cursor around to make a selection, simply tapping a window(much like on the Wii’s current menu system) on the controller’s screen with your finger will open it up.
     With how common and popular touch screen phones have become, with the iPhones, Androids, and Blackberry phones, etc.; perhaps Nintendo has realized that a touch screen controller on a home console will have a lot of appeal now to the casual audience with those phones.  I think a touch screen console controller makes a lot of sense now, especially if Nintendo is perhaps trying to capture part of the “mobile” gaming market and bring them over to the home console market.

     Rumored System Function & NameThere has been at least one rumored “official” system name for Nintendo’s next console, that being “Stream“.  The biggest reason behind the rumor, whether it’s true or not, is probably based on the other rumors about the touch screen controller and how the console is able to “stream” content to the controller.
     Being the parent of a 2 year old, I actually like the possibility of the console streaming games through the controller’s screen.  If the console allows that, my son(with another expected within a month) can be watching all the SpongeBob, Thomas the Train, or Word World type shows he wants on the television, and I could be playing a game at the same time, but without having to have another television hooked up.

     Release Date & Price – The rumors have all pretty much been saying that the console will not release until 2012 and with a $300-350 MSRP.  If true, I think Nintendo is showing up really late to the HD video game party.  I think this is like being invited to an event/party and showing up at the end wearing a tuxedo with an entrée, when everybody is already relaxing in jeans having dessert and coffee.
     The Wii has sold well for a number of reasons, but I believe the biggest reason initially was its lower price point, compared to the PS3’s and Xbox 360’s prices a few years back.
     Back on April 20th I commented on another site, “if the 2012 release part of the rumors is true, the console better be $200 or less…
     The PS3 and Xbox 360 are both now $300, and they are HD consoles that have HD games.  Microsoft even has the Xbox 360 Arcade edition for just $199.99.  Unless Project Cafe/Stream makes espresso drinks, or does something really incredible, I don’t see how Nintendo can benefit with the price point of the Stream being higher than the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012.
     Sure, there is the, “People buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games”, but if Nintendo is also trying to win back 3rd party support as has been stated, I think a sub-$200, new, HD console would help to really spur sales for the system, and give 3rd parties more of a reason to want to develop for it.
     If Nintendo’s next console is more than $300 I just think people may be like, “Why buy the Stream for $300-350 for HD games, when I can buy a PS3 and/or Xbox 360 for less; and those consoles already have a plethora of HD games, and many that are budget HD games for $30 or less?”

     Hardcore Rumor – One rumor floating around about Nintendo’s next console, is that Nintendo is going to go after the “hardcore” gamers, again, with this system.  In the initial Game Informer post on the “Nintendo HD” as they called it, they said, “It is our understanding that Nintendo is trying to embrace the western gamer and will likely launch a new brand with this console.
     If by “embrace the western gamer”, that means a new FPS IP from Nintendo, I hope this “rumor” is true.  I hope that Nintendo will finally announced a FPS game at E3, that will become their Halo, Resistance, Killzone, Battlefield, or Call of Duty FPS series for their next console.
     The Nintendo 64 brought gamers the FPS games GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark as exclusives, both published by Nintendo.  I think E3 would be the perfect time for Nintendo to introduce a brand new FPS IP being developed for their next console, and that the game will include online multi-player, local multi-player, co-op, single-player, and HD graphics.  Oh, and it will be a launch title for Project Café!

     I’m definitely excited for Nintendo’s E3 conference this Tuesday.  I found out this past Thursday that my day off this week is actually Tuesday, and I’m sure I will be glued to the computer screen watching Nintendo’s E3 conference just like I did last year!
     I’m excited to learn more about Nintendo’s next console, but the one “rumor” I think will be most difficult for Nintendo to fulfill(if it’s true), is their trying to win back the “hardcore” gamers.  Last year Microsoft passed out ponchos for their Kinect debut show, and unless Nintendo is passing out hard hats and raining down FPS/action games upon the audience, I don’t see how they get, and keep, the “hardcores'” attention.
     While the price point does have me concerned because I have never paid more than $250 for a system; perhaps at E3 we will see that Nintendo has a ton of secrets they will be revealing not just about the console’s specifications and controller(s), but also about 3rd party developer game deals they have signed for the system, which could make the price point not such a big deal in 2012.

Questions:
     Are there any rumors that you agree, or disagree, with me on?  Do any of you feel, like me, that releasing the console in 2012 is arriving late to the HD party with the rumored $300-350 price point?  Or, do you feel Nintendo’s next console will help breath new life into the HD gaming party, and the price won’t matter?