Much like October, November was packed full of game releases. In fact, going by Wikipedia’s handy-dandy list twenty-five games released on the 18th of November alone, although there was a reason for that: the Wii U release. Yes, that was the day that Wii U released in the United States, the first territory to get their hands on Nintendo’s newest console. Those of us on the European side of the Atlantic also got it in November, although not until the very last day of the month.
With the Wii U’s release obviously came the post-release analysis of its sales performance. Reggie Fils-Amie, President of Nintendo of America and winner of the “Executive Who Most Looks Like A Shaved Bear” award, announced that the Wii U had shifted 400,000 units in the US in its first week, a figure that seems relatively impressive. However, while it may be more than the PS3 or Xbox 360 shifted in their launch weeks, it’s 260,000 less than the GameCube and 75,000 less than the Wii. He also claimed that it was “essentially sold out of retail”, something that clashed with many anecdotal claims.
Look at those terrifying eyes, the eyes of a shaved bear.
It wasn’t all Nintendo focused though, there was plenty going on in the gaming world. The very first post of the month was our review of one of the month’s biggest releases, Halo 4. I took up the review duties for that one, finding it pretty enjoyable overall but lacking enough to attract new fans to this new chapter in the Halo series. The month also featured the now traditional Call of Duty release, with Black Ops II being in the frame. Blair looked at it, discussing why you shouldn’t just dismiss the game’s campaign out of hand.
That wasn’t the only Call of Duty title to release this year though, with Black Ops: Declassified also cropping up on the Vita. Interestingly, the game was absolutely slated critically but did very well commercially. Alex picked up on this dichotomy, wondering whether it meant that the importance of reviews was starting to fade.
One of the month’s more original releases was Wonderbook, and we took an in depth look at it in a joint authored article. That article features one of my favourite elements of the year, when we actually got the opinion of Oliver, an 8-year old. Despite the concerns that some older members of the gaming community may have with the technology, it does seem like Wonderbook’s a hit with its target audience.
November also saw the arrival of Sony’s arcade brawler PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, which Peter wasn’t all that impressed about pre-release. However, in our review of the game Blair was rather positive about it, rating it at 9/10.
While November is generally more about releases than news, there were a few bits of important information that came out in the month. Sony seemed to be lurching into financial troubles, with their credit rating being lowered to “junk”. This came on the back of their stock falling 56% on the Tokyo stock exchange from a March high of 1,832 and seven consecutive quarterly losses.
THQ were also suffering in November, a situation that’s been ongoing pretty much since the flop of their uDraw tablet. Things would get worse for them in December, but November saw them pushing back the release of several games due to financial concerns and a very poor quarterly report.
Apparently destiny will have some very cool looking tanks.
There were other bits and pieces in the month, but as always we can’t cover quite everything in detail. However, worth an honourable mention is the worrying turn that Peter Molyneux started to take in interviews, although he was more positive when we talked to him.
We’ll be back tomorrow with the final part of our Review of the Year, looking back on December.