Snackbar Speculator: Latest Developments

March 18, 2010

The Game Developers Conference ran from March 9-14. As far as game conferences go, the GDC didn’t provide a lot of rumors for the mill, but what it did provide was very interesting.

Current scores:

Andrew Passafiume: 5 

Graham Russell: 5

Shawn Vermette: 40

PlayStation Move will sell more units this year than Project Natal

Sony used the Game Developers Conference to announce the name and launch window of their motion controller- the PlayStation Move will be released this fall. So as part of our GDC-centric edition of the Speculator, we’re bringing you our thoughts on whether the PlayStation Move will outsell Microsoft’s Project Natal.

Andrew: I really can’t see this happening. Microsoft has a larger install base and they seem to have a lot more going for them with Natal than Sony does with the Move. However, if the Move does launch first, I could see them taking the slight advantage, but I doubt it. 30%

Graham: Guys, I think you’re forgetting a major thing. You only need one Natal to play Natal titles. Move titles need one per player (and sometimes two), so the numbers will be inflated. Sure, it’ll top Natal like Wii Play topped game sales charts, but it’ll still do it.  70%

Shawn: I think that if Microsoft can be competitive on price then Project Natal will outsell the Move, simply due to the fact that they’ve got a much larger installed base. 35%

Project Natal to launch before PlayStation Move

After the Sony announcement of the PlayStation Move, Project Natal was very conspicuous in its absence from the GDC. We here at Snackbar Games feel it was because Microsoft might be planning to release Project Natal before the PlayStation Move and are biding their time for a big announcement- perhaps at E3.

Andrew: This is a tough one, but it seems like the Move is almost ready to launch, while we haven’t heard a thing about Natal since last year’s E3 (besides more rumors and speculations, of course). I really think this one can go either way, because Microsoft could have Natal all ready to launch right after E3 for all we know, but at this moment it seems more likely the Move will come first. 50%

Graham: Microsoft has been known to pull this kind of surprise, but…Natal is something the company is incredibly invested in. Will they launch in the same general time? Sure, but I think Microsoft will give itself a few extra weeks. They’re the favorite in a hardware launch battle for the first time in their gaming history. 75%

Shawn: This is, I think, something that would surprise many people. Since the original announcements of Project Natal and the Move at last year’s E3, it has been assumed that the Move would release first. My opinion? Microsoft surprises people again and gets Natal released before the Move. 70%

‘DS2’ will have GameCube-level graphics; otherwise be similar to DS

We’ve discussed when we felt the next DS would be released, but nothing else about it. During GDC, Joystiq bloggers went around talking to developers regarding a new DS system and the answers they got were somewhat surprising. Most said they were already at work on titles for the ‘DS2’, but more interestingly, they said it had two screens and a touch screen just like the DS does, but with unprecedented graphics for a handheld. Reportedly it is as powerful as the GameCube, and nearly capable of Wii-quality graphics due to the smaller, but high resolution screens. Does this sound like the type of system you’d be willing to replace your DS with?

Andrew: I can definitely see this happening, although I think true successor to the DS would need more than just being “another DS with better graphics.” I’m going to say I definitely see the first part happening more so than the second part of this rumor, but overall it could happen.  60% 

Graham: Nintendo’s handhelds have jumped in horsepower pretty consistently. The whole “third pillar” strategy didn’t work out, and the Big N knows backwards compatibility with DS games is important, so it’s a safe bet the two screens will return. They probably have something up their sleeve with it, but those two specs seem likely.  85%

Shawn: A DS with GameCube-level graphics? Sign me up for a preorder! The DS is my most played system, I love the games on it…and having the same system just with better graphics would be like a dream come true. More importantly, I hope Nintendo realizes that this is what most people want out of a new handheld. 75%