Snackbar Speculator: A new beginning

January 3, 2011

This week we break in a new panelist while prognosticating on some industry-wide events in 2011.

Current score

Gerry Pagan: 0

Andrew Passafiume: +295

Graham Russell: +299

Eric Schabel: +60

Shawn Vermette: +205



Nintendo to reveal fate of Vitality Sensor by end of 2010

Well, 2010 came and went without any word from Nintendo regarding the Vitality Sensor. This doesn’t mean it is dead, but considering the lack of any official mention since E3 2009, it looks strongly like vaporware now.

Andrew 65% = -15

Eric 55% = -5

Graham 55% = -5

Shawn 35% = +15

Medal of Honor to sell more copies than Call of Duty: Black Ops in 2010

Despite Medal of Honor’s respectable 5 million copies sold in 2010, Black Ops continued the series’ strong showing by selling more than 13 million units.

Andrew 5% = +45

Graham 1% = +49

Shawn 10% = +40

PlayStation Phone to be confirmed by Sony in 2010

Despite early reports in September and October that appeared to leak photos and specs on a rumored PlayStation Phone, Sony has continued to remain mute on the issue of what it is, and whether it is even planned for release or simply a prototype design.

Andrew 65% = -15

Graham 85% = -35

Shawn 95% = -45


Xbox 360 or PS3 to surpass Wii in total U.S. sales in 2011

Ever since its launch, the Wii has outsold every competitor in the US, other than the DS. However, it has recently shown signs of weakening its stranglehold on sales, as the Xbox 360 and PS3 outsold it for a few months in 2010. Can the Wii bounce back in 2011? Or has the time come for a new champion of console sales in the US?

Gerry: As much as I want to say that this’ll be true, the fact of the matter is that the Wii is still the popular options when it comes to cheap family gifts. The odds of shovelware being sold on the Wii is much more likely than core titles on other systems, so even if Nintendo doesn’t present a particularly vast and numerous amount of first-party entries, the sales on those and third-party shovelware will more than likely keep the Wii ahead in sales. 10%

Andrew: I very much doubt that the PS3 will ever outsell the Wii, but I think the Xbox 360 has a pretty good shot at doing just that. 360 has continued to sell better than the Wii the last few months of 2010 and Wii sales have continued to decline, so it’s definitely a possibility. With the 3DS coming out this year, I doubt we’ll see any increase in Wii sales or any big releases for the system in the first part of 2011, so it could be Microsoft’s chance to take over. But at the same time, the Wii still sales fairly consistently from month to month, so it may not happen at all.65%

Graham: Sure, the 360 and PS3 gained on the Wii last year, but they did it with price cuts and new peripherals. The peripheral thing is done, and another price cut would have them practically giving away the systems. It’ll be competitive, but I can’t see anything particularly disruptive happening.  40%

Shawn: Considering the relative lack of software for the Wii, mixed with its lower sales of 2010, I’d say there’s a fairly strong possibility of the Xbox 360 outselling it in 2011. The PlayStation 3? Not so much. 80%


‘PSP2’ to release in 2011

While itself still a rumor, there’s growing speculation that this unconfirmed follow-up to the PSP will in fact be released during the holiday season of 2011. If this proves to be true, it will mark Sony as the first handheld creator to be successful enough against Nintendo to release a second system.

Gerry: There’s still quite a few titles that seem to be planned for the PSP, but a PSP2 being released this year isn’t unlikely. We’ve already seen things that look like prototypes for the handheld, and Sony doesn’t really have a good track record with keeping things secret. 90%

Andrew: I don’t know if the rumored PSP Phone and the PSP2 are related at all, but I could definitely see Sony releasing a new handheld this year to go against the 3DS. While nobody believes it’ll outsell Nintendo’s next handheld, I’m sure Sony wants something new on the market, whatever it ends up being.  75%

Graham: If there’s a system that could most justify a successor now, it’s the PSP. The home consoles seem to have enough legs for another year, and the 3DS takes away the PSP’s advantages in the marketplace. If there isn’t another PSP this year, there may not ever be another PSP.  80%

Shawn: I think that Sony will release a follow-up to the PSP at some point. Will it be this year though? I doubt it. The PSP seems to finally be hitting its stride in terms of game releases, so I’d actually think it has another year or so left in it, if Sony continues pushing production on it. 30%

‘Wii 2’ to release in 2011

2010 had the feel of a ‘kitchen sink’ year for the Wii. Nearly every major franchise Nintendo has access to had a new game released for it. Due to its recently flagging sales, and the sudden lack of any major franchises in development for the Wii, will Nintendo be the first to move on to the next generation of consoles this holiday season?

Gerry: 2011 sounds a little too soon for a “Wii2” launch, especially during the year of the 3DS launch. If anything, I’d find it more believable for it to be launched in 2012, after being announced at some major press event. So while I do know it’s going to come eventually, it and the 3DS being released seems like too much, too soon. 15%

Andrew: I think we might hear about a new Wii this year, but I doubt we’ll see it released, especially with Nintendo focusing solely on the launch of the 3DS. It’ll be interesting to see what they do at E3, but even if they do unveil it, I doubt it’ll be coming out this year. 25%

Graham: The 3DS is the type of juggernaut that will drive the year. That said, it’s not unprecedented for the company to release two systems in one year. A new home console to complement a new handheld can make for an interesting package to market. That said, I’m leaning toward a possible system announcement later in the year and a late 2012 release, since E3 2011 is going to be too busy for Nintendo as it is.  20%

Shawn: I know Nintendo has stuck fast to their insistence that they aren’t working on a new console, but the Wii has really started to show its age recently, and it has always been assumed that the Wii would be replaced by a new system earlier than the 360 or PS3. This year though? I think they may ride out one last holiday season and replace in it spring 2012. 40%