Winners and Losers: Week of 9/9/07

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Game Freaks 365 loves to try out new article ideas. Since we don’t like useless (and highly controversial) gaming related Top 10 lists, and since we don’t feel that we know everything, we are going to be starting a fresh weekly feature that will take a look at the perceived winners and losers of the week based on news events. They may be people, companies, systems, franchises – really anything. So let’s start this thing off…

Winner: Electronic Arts

Can anyone stop Madden? I don’t think so. Madden proved to be a beast of a franchise yet again as the Xbox 360 and PS2 versions were the top 2 selling games for the month of August. But who said EA was content with just having the #1 and #2 best selling games? Madden also pulled in at #4 (PS3), #11 (Xbox), #12 (Wii) and #18 (PSP). Tiger Woods was also a top 20 game for the month of August, giving Electronic Arts a whopping 7 out of the 20 best selling games. The only other publisher to rival EA’s domination was Nintendo, which also had 7 of the 20 best selling games in August.

Loser: Sony

Just as things began to look up for Sony, August came along. The numbers are anything but comforting for the folks in Culver City, California. After searching for monthly NPD sales data, I believe I found that this is the first time at least since the PS2 came out (possibly longer) that a PlayStation product was not a top 3 selling piece of hardware in a given month in the United States. In other words, each month, either the PS1, PS2 or PSP have been the #1, #2 or #3 selling system for the entirety of this decade. In August 2007, PS2 placed #4, PSP placed #5 and PS3 placed dead last. A historic shift has occurred in the industry where the market leadership has been reclaimed by Nintendo from the company that originally took it from them ten years ago. In short, it has been an astronomical rise and fall for two companies.

Winner: Wii

Nintendo’s console passed the Xbox 360 in total global sales a few weeks ago in a much shorter time than anyone expected (just a year ago, no one was even predicting Nintendo would ever see market leadership with Wii). Then just yesterday, Wii remained the top selling system in the U.S., despite a Xbox 360 and PS3 price cut and stiff software competition with the likes of BioShock. Is it possible that Wii may actually beat Xbox 360 in September as well, when Halo 3 is set to launch? We’ll have to see in a month.

Loser: Wii Sports fans

For many people, especially casual or non-gamers, Wii Sports was the reason they bought the Wii. The game, which is bundled with the system in every region except Japan, where it has sold over 2 million units by itself, is not going to see a sequel – at least anytime soon. Many good times have been had playing Wii Sports tennis, bowling, golf, baseball and boxing, yet Nintendo’s president doesn’t see a need for a follow-up.

“If you start making such decisions without thinking, you start doing the easy stuff. You disengage yourself with the pursuit of true entertainment,” CEO Satoru Iwata explained. “Our mission is to surprise people in a good way, and this became very clear as we made Nintendo DS and Wii. You can’t open up a new market of customers if you can’t surprise them.” He goes on to say that, “We’re not closing our doors to the possibility of a sequel, but it’s definitely not coming out soon.”

Winner: Guitar Heroes

Activision is riding a wave… or perhaps a string, a guitar string. Guitar Hero has become one of the biggest franchises in video games with two versions of the game (including a year-old Guitar Hero II on PS2) selling over 125,000 in August. A third Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II for Xbox 360, was just outside of the top 10.

Loser: World Series of Video Games

GamePro announced on Thursday that the World Series of Video Games, with its competitive gaming events, is no more. According to their article, “World Series of Video Games would be expunged after just two years due to high operating costs.” Here’s to hoping you didn’t spend your college money on a fancy new game machine, hoping to become a pro gamer.