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July 28, 2009 / Joe Osborne

Coffee Talk: Nintendo’s March NPD Reports Contrary to Critical Acclaim

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The results of March’s NPD reports for a few key Nintendo titles are paltry at best, despite well enough reviews across the board. The key titles in question include MadWorld and The House of the Dead: Overkill for the Nintendo Wii as well as Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS.

For example, GTA: Chinatown Wars, a title which received universal acclaim from critics, sold only 89,000 copies. Granted, Rockstar’s debut on the DS released more than halfway into the month (March 17), but a title to receive such high-scoring reviews, only to sell less than 100,000 copies, raises questions of the state of games tailored to the bloodthirsty mature, hardcore audience of Nintendo’s consoles.

What does this all mean for you Geekadelphians who actually want some more bloodshed in Nintendo’s two best selling systems of this decade? Find out after the break.

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Before we get into some of the questions sprouting from this phenomena or what it means for the future, let’s talk more numbers. Sega’s MadWorld, a hyper stylistic (and hyper violent) title for the Wii, released in March and sold only 66,000 copies, again, despite critical acclaim. The House of the Dead: Overkill, another Sega title released in February, sparked this trend with only 45,000 units sold in its release month despite fair reviews.

Nintendo has been accused by the masses in the past (and as we speak) of walking away from those who helped the company get where it is today: hardcore gamers, but the Nintendo team is trying to redeem itself. Are the releases of quality titles including GTA: Chinatown Wars and MadWorld too little, too late? Has Nintendo’s hardcore audience already left their Miis behind for Microsoft’s Avatars and Sony’s Home?

Most importantly, what does this mean for future releases designed for hardcore Nintendo fanboys and fangirls like The Conduit or Dead Space: Extraction? They may suffer the same fate as those mentioned above (most likely) or perhaps their hopefully critical and commercial success will usher in a new age of Nintendo titles for the original gamers. What do you guys and gals think about this messy situation? Let us know in the comment box below.

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