So now we’ve got this walking pile of fail over at Wired predicting MICROSOFTALYPSE this holiday season, just because Nintendo has decided to push back the release of Super Smash Bros: Brawl to January 2008. Three whopping months. Sweet Tree-Topping Jebus, where do I start with this?
How about this approach: I’ll come right out and say it. Halo 3 notwithstanding, there is minuscule-to-no chance whatsoever that Microsoft will catch up to Nintendo, or even beat their sales numbers, in this upcoming season. Super Smash Bros: Brawl’s availability (or lack thereof) will have a less-than-significant impact on performance this Christmas.
Look, I know all the hardcore Wii gamers (myself included) are frothing at the mouth for SSB:B, but you all have to realize that we’re in the minority as highly-connected, hardcore gamers. A whole lot of Nintendo console owners (the clear majority, I’d wager) have never purchased a Super Smash Brothers title in any incarnation. A slightly larger percentage have played someone else’s copy, and many more have heard of it. The negative effect of its absence from the shelves for the next three months can’t begin to compare to the positive effect of the presence of universally appealing titles that everyone has been waiting for. Especially one in particular…
Super Mario Galaxy is going to sell approximately 1.2 metric fuckloads more copies than Super Smash Bros: Brawl ever will, regardless of when the latter is released. Galaxy simply has a much broader appeal and notoriety than (the comparatively niche) Brawl. SMG will be a must-have title this holiday season, and it will be readily available as such.
Now, take into account the other imminent, highly anticipated game releases for Wii, including the following (and I know I’m missing a couple here…):
- Zack and Wiki
- Manhunt 2
- Guitar Hero III
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympics
- Rayman: Raving Rabbids 2
- Trauma Center: New Blood
- Link’s Crossbow Training
- Super Swing Golf
- NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams
[Update - November 12, 2007: I now own Zack and Wiki, and it is easily one of the best games for the Wii thus far. Definitely top five.]
Finally, consider the increased availability of Wii consoles for the holidays, and we’re looking at an unprecedented spike in holiday console sales for Nintendo (or any company in video gaming history). This guy wants to talk about a slump in the numbers for Wii and its titles? There is absolutely no chance. Oh, and let’s not even talk about DS sales…
Indeed, the delay of SSB:M may be a very good thing for the Wii: after the holidays, when console sales inevitably fall off, the Wii will have that game’s release (and our insatiable appetite for it) to keep its numbers relatively high when compared to its competitors.