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Currents Top Ten I Kutaragi Gets Owned I DS Lite Arrives in the Kingdoms United I Louisiana Signs Fair Game Bill into Law I X06 Headed for España I Nintendo Not Phasing Out Old DS I Stock Ticker
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Issue #39 Double-Take June 24, 2006


Front Page

Yeah, sorry about that. I promise to get this column on a more regular schedule. I don't even think you can call this a schedule. It's more like a jar of mayonnaise. Yeah. Oh, I'm back from my vacation that I didn't say I was going on. It was fun and I'm due for another one in a couple weeks. Going to Chicago as a groomsman for my friend's wedding. Should be fun. Maybe. Either way, we're back this week with exciting news about the industry that we all know and love.



 Currents Top Ten

The Nintendo-nation Domination continues! Five DS titles grace the Top Ten this week, four of them taking the top four spots. A big congrats to Nintendo on that long-time-coming accomplishment. Xbox360 and PS2 have two titles a piece on the list, and rounding out the bottom is 2006 FIFA World Cup for the original Xbox. Looks like all three major console developers got a piece of the action pie this week, though the big N took a much larger slice.


Position Title Publisher Platform
1 New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo
2 Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day Nintendo
3 Big Brain Academy Nintendo
4 Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow Konami
5 2006 FIFA World Cup Electronic Arts
6 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Ubi Soft
7 Mario Kart DS Nintendo
8 Hitman: Blood Money Eidos Interactive
9 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Rockstar Games
10 2006 FIFA World Cup Electronic Arts


Source: GameSpot



 Kutaragi Gets Owned

Sony

Business 2.0, a business publication, has dealt Playstation mastermind Ken Kutaragi a painful blow below the belt. The magazine released an issue containing a feature that listed the 50 people who matter most in the business world. Not only did Kutaragi not get a mention in the list, but he was also all over the follow-up issue highlighting the 10 people who don't matter most.

The piece on Kutaragi attacks him for his unwaivering push to include Blu-ray technology in the PS3. This move is blamed for the system's subsequent delays and higher-than-the-competition pricing.

Xbox fans shouldn't start celebrating yet, though. Business 2.0 saved some action for Microsoft as well. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, also made the infamous 10 people who don't matter list. Nintendo fans, however, can start rejoicing if they so choose.


Source: GAF



 DS Lite Arrives in the Kingdoms United

Nintendo

The Nintendo DS Lite shipped to the UK this week to a considerably more subdued crowd than the ones in North America and especially Japan. Midnight sales events and celebrations were notably absent from the islands, although there were a few occasions of people lining up in front of stores hours before opening to receive their updated handhelds. The DS launched in both black and white colors in the UK, at a price of £99.99 ($179). The black model DS Lite is only available in the UK at this time.

Those concerned about the shipment of DS Lites that was commandeered by pirates en route to Europe a few weeks ago shouldn't worry. Stores all across the UK had enough models to fill all preorders and even had several left over for those who didn't plan ahead. Solid sales figures should follow shortly.


Source: GameSpot



 Louisiana Signs Fair Game Bill into Law

This isn't the same game bill that you're all probably thinking about. No, that earlier game bill fell apart in the birth canal when a federal judge issued a temporary block on it. The same day it was signed into law, authorities were prevented from enforcing it -- as most of us expected. This new bill is a bit different in many ways.

This bill, SB340, is document that seeks to include games in Louisiana's list of media (which already includes music, movies, and books) that can be harmful to minors. Now this is the very first game bill that tries to protect minors from violent games all the while affording the game industry the same considerations as other media. Previous bills sought to make games separate from other media and more akin to pornography, a move many of us felt was unfairly hurtful to a mostly well-meaning industry. As such, this is also the first game bill that has been fully approved by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association). It looks as though the government and the people have finally reached common ground on the matter.


Source: GameSpot



 X06 Headed for España

Microsoft

Barcelona, Spain, has been named as the location for this year's "Xbox brand experience," or X06. The Xbox event will take place on Septemeber 27 and 28. The specific address has yet to be determined.

These "experiences" usually take place in Europe, and they are a way for Microsoft to discuss future business plans, as well as release information concerning their upcoming products and games. According to the company, people should expect "exclusive new announcements" and "next-generation gaming experiences" at this year's X06. Those interested in what the immediate future holds for Xbox and PCs should pay close attention to X06. More information concerning the event will be released as it approaches.


Source: GameSpot



 Nintendo Not Phasing Out Old DS

Nintendo

With the sleeker, lighter, and brighter Nintendo DS Lite officially out in all three major regions, some may have been left to wonder what is to become of the original DS. Well Nintendo Europe has erased all those questionmarks, stating that the company has no plans to discontinue the original DS system. It will be supported "as long as there is demand."

"We're still committed to the old DS as long as there's demand," said a Nintendo Europe spokesperson. "Don't forget that the Pink and Blue DS units are only available in the old model, which account for a large percentage of our sales to girls. And like Japan we haven't seen any drop off in sales of the old model in the run-up to the launch of DS Lite."

So will demand for the DS be able to keep up with that of the DS Lite? Initial sales numbers from Japan say "absolutely not." Though DS sales remained steady in the weeks leading up to the launch of the Lite, once the Lite hit stores, original DS sales plummeted faster than Enron's stock prices. The Lite now outsells the PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, DS, and GBA combined.

If this trend repeats itself in the other two territories, fans of the original DS may find support for their system dwindling sooner than they expected. It really doesn't help that the Lite is only $10 more than the original, either.





 Stock Ticker

Are you all as sick of the same old companies as I am? I think this list is way outdated. I believe some companies have died and begun to rot since this list first started. Actually, that probably explains the rancid unholy stench. In any event, I'll see if I can pull a Nintendo-move and replace some of the uglier companies with brighter, prettier ones. But for now, you live with the stench. It helps if you put some vaporub on your upper lip while you're in here, though.

Alrighty, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. It looks as though nothing can get Ubi Soft down. They've got the highest increase of the day at $0.78. In a much less-fortunate situation sits Midway as the biggest loser of the day. Their stocks fell by $0.42. See if you can send them some flowers or something on your way out. I kind of feel bad for them.

Parentheses denote negative numbers. Prices as of market closing 06.23.2006


Symbol Company Market Standing Change
SNE Sony NYSE 42.57 0.16
MSFT Microsoft Nasdaq 22.50 (0.38)
NTDOY Nintendo PNK 20.55 0.00
ERTS Electronic Arts Nasdaq 41.20 0.18
SQNXF Square Enix PNK 20.77 0.46
KNM Konami NYSE 20.64 (0.01)
ATVI Activision Nasdaq 11.40 0.05
MWY Midway NYSE 7.46 (0.42)
SGAMY Sega PNK 9.35 0.10
UBSFF Ubi Soft PNK 48.04 0.78

Source: CNN Money




 Back Page

I just got an ever-sexy DS Lite a couple weeks ago. Boy is it beautiful. It was a bittersweet day for me because I also had to part with my long-time companion, Fat DS. I had to EBay the poor thing, but I was able to get all my money back that I spent for the Lite. So let that be a warning to all who dare befriend me. If a new, hotter model comes out, I'm gonna EBay your ass.

I'm refusing to use the touch screen until my glorious Hori screen protectors arrive from Japan, though. I dunno, I guess I'm just anal like that. This limits me to pretty much Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, and Castlevania for the time being (I'm running through Julius mode, so no seal-drawing). Anyway, everyone should have a DS Lite. It changed my life and it can change yours too. Why just the other day I was walking around, Lite in hand, and got 87 supermodel phone numbers. Nevermind that they were all men. It's still attention, dammit!


Elliot "Lighter. Brighter." Guisinger


Carlisle@RPGamer.com

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