Nintendo President Satoru Iwata mentioned in a recent interview that Japanese gamers strongly prefer 2D Mario titles to 3D ones. This may be evidenced by the fact that New Super Mario Bros. Wii has sold 3 times what the first Mario Galaxy has (in Japan at least), and in a much shorter period of time. He speculated that 3D Mario games tend to be too difficult to control for many gamers. This may be at least part of the reason that Mario Galaxy 2 will come bundled with an instructional DVD on how to play the game.
After a failed attempt at entering the used video game market, retail juggernaut Wal-Mart has announced that it is giving it a second chance, this time with another provider. It is testing a used video game/DVD service in 5 locations to gauge customer response. This is likely partly due to the recent closing of Game Crazy, leaving GameStop as basically the only national chain of used video game stores (which is a crying shame, to be honest). If not Wal-Mart, let’s hope someone can keep GameStop from becoming the only place to buy games used.
EA has announced that beginning with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, new EA Sports games will come with an Online Pass to play the game online. If the game is sold used, it will not come with the online pass. Gamers who buy a used copy will need to purchase their own Online Pass ($10) to play online. This is part of EA’s “Project Ten Dollar” initiative to reclaim sales lost to used game vendors. Essentially, new EA games will come with codes to redeem for free Downloadable Content, where gamers who buy used copies will have to pay for said DLC. It seems risky and arrogant, but it remains to be seen if Project Ten Dollar will have any effect on anyone.