Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Putting a hold on Stranglehold

I was out of my mind psyched when the initial news broke that the PS3 Collector’s Edition of Stranglehold would contain the HD version of Hard Boiled on Blu-ray. As the weeks passed, several serious questions and concerns nagged at me:

- How good will Stranglehold actually be?
- Will the HD mastering of the movie be up to snuff?
- Do I really want to keep the Stranglehold game forever in my library the way I intend to keep Hard Boiled? (very important since they are on the same disc)
- The CE is supposed to be very limited so you almost have to commit now to make sure you get one. This removes the possibility of waiting for the reviews to come out before purchasing.

As I was thinking things over, I happened across this interview that explains the movie will only play on a PS3. Since it is one Blu-ray disc, that is sort of understandable, but it really limits where I can playback the movie. The interview also mentions that the production run of the CE is in the six figures, so at least 100,000 will be available.

Let’s digest that number shall we? Now 10,000, that there is a limited number. 10,000 happens to be the US production run of Panzer Dragoon Saga for Saturn and that (plus the fantastic quality of the game) justifies the $100+ asking price on eBay for the game. Most games are lucky to even reach the 50,000 sold mark. Very few do. But 100,000?

For 100,000 to truly be a limited number, the game would have to be a massive, massive hit. Let’s put this in perspective. Final Fantasy XII sold/shipped 1.5 million copies in the US. I couldn’t find how many of those were the Collector’s Editions, but I do know that they sat around unwanted on the shelf long enough for me to pick it up at a hugely discounted price a few weeks back (this discount was across all EB/GameStop stores). This happened even though FF has a huge fan base and tons of people own a PS2.

Combine the installed base of PS3 owners with the fact that the Xbox 360 and PC versions of Stranglehold come out three weeks BEFORE the PS3 version and you begin to question just how scarce the PS3 CE will actually be.

I’m going to wait until Hard Boiled makes a stand alone appearance on Blu-ray. I want the whole disc to be dedicated to the movie for optimum audio and video quality. I also am hoping Criterion will enter the HD market by that time since their regular DVD version of Hard Boiled kicked all kinds of ass (except in the video department, but that is only compared to the higher picture standards of today. Back then it rocked hard. It also contained a huge amount of special features).

If Stranglehold turns out to be a must play, I’ll rent the 360 version. Problem solved.

I should also mention that part of the skittishness about paying an extra $10 for a CE is partly the fault of Ninja Gaiden Sigma. I soooo should have just bought the regular version, but the excitement got the best of me.

You are a DVD retail buyer. What would you do?
While we’re on the subject of movies on discs, did you ever wonder just how many DVDs are released in a given week? Digital Bits has a weekly collection of what is out along with super handy images of movie covers. Wow. There are weeks where this list is three times larger.

It’s actually quite easy to pick out what will be the most popular, but look at all those smaller scale releases! It’s amazing. I would love to physically visit a shop that stocks every single DVD that has been released. That would be quite a trip.

1 comment:

ryan said...

Did you end up playing the Stranglehold demo? I'm not to sure about it now - it's fun, but filled with strange colors and lots of door-spawning enemies.

It's not a new Max Payne, which I guess I was secretly hoping for...